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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

“This Is Us” Birthday Banana Muffin With Twinkie Frosting

Surprise your favorite fan with their very own This Is Us Birthday Banana Muffin with Twinkie Frosting. You must… because, well, all da feelz!

This Is Us birthday cupcake

I don’t know how it happened. I decided to check it out but was full of doubt. I turned on the TV, watched the first episode, and I’ll be darned if, as a result, I didn’t sit there bawling my eyes out. Due to this, any emotional constipation I may have been suffering from before watching was gone and I quickly become a fan.

how to make your own this is us birthday muffin

And since I’m not alone, I’m sure there is someone out there who needs a This Is Us – themed recipe for their loved one who will be celebrating their birthday soon. Have a co-worker who can’t stop talking about it? Got a Facebook friend who posts about how much they cried over this week’s episode… every… single…. week? Yeah, that person. Since they need this muffin, let’s get started.

"This Is Us" Birthday Banana Muffin with Twinkie Frosting

This Is Us Birthday Banana Muffin with Twinkie Frosting

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs, bananas, fresh lemon juice, flour, baking soda, salt, chopped walnuts. Mix well. Place in large muffin tins with liners. This recipe will make 10 large muffins (or 20 regular size). Bake for about 35 or until tops of muffins is light golden brown and springs back when touched. Either that, or you can poke it with a fork and if it comes out clean, they’re done.

Twinkie Filling Frosting

  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk milk & flour together in a saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and watch closely. Continue whisking until thick. Cook for about one minute while whisking. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.

Place butter & sugar in mixer on high speed until light & fluffy. After flour & milk mixture has cooled to room temp (important), add to mixer and whip until light & fluffy. It should look almost like whipped cream or, you know, Twinkie filling.

Note: For a rather white filling you can substitute butter with white shortening. Because shortening just won’t taste nearly as lovely.

Don’t forget the sprinkles and the candle… since your friend may get emotional.

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The Top Five Party Games This Christmas

Tired of the same old holiday routine? Pull simple supplies together to surprise your family and friends with these Minute to Win It style games and fun challenges. Make sure everyone gets a try.

Feet in wool socks near fireplace in winter time

Although the main point is to connect with one another and welcome the medicine of laughter into your home, goofy prizes never hurt.

Be sure to play a little background Christmas music to liven up your fun party scene. Oh, and please share your nutty videos on The Old Hen Facebook page cuz we wanna laugh at… I mean with… you.

5. Jingle in the Trunk 

Strap on an empty tissue box, fill with jingle bells from the local craft store and jingle all the way to #winning. The fun starts in this video at about the 33 second mark.

4. Paper Dragon

There’s no better way to unwind this Christmas. Grab the brightest, happiest streamer colors you can find and have contestants unwind two rolls using only their arms as fast as they can.

3. The Mannequin Challenge

Strap on an empty tissue box, fill with jingle bells from the local craft store and jingle all the way to #winning. If you wanna be all official like dat, here’s the song that goes with your recording.

2. Face the Cookie

Players place a cookie on their forehead and race using (only their face muscles) to get the cookie down to their mouth to eat it.

1. Pop the Potato

This is my favorite. Two teams. One potato for each person. Do I even have to explain? Carry that potato between your thighs and squat to drop it in the bucket when it’s your turn. First team to relay through everyone first wins.

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10 Television Shows Featuring Bed & Breakfasts


It is no coincidence my home was turned into a B&B. I blame Gilmore Girls. It went off the air in 2007. I spent 2008 getting ready. And opened up my gorgeous wooden doors to guests in 2009. My kids and I watched every single episode and decided this was the life we wanted. Our journey as innkeepers allowed us to travel through the stories of our guests as we opened our doors to many lovely people and hilarious moments. We were not disappointed by our real-life sitcom.

1. Newhart

An American classic. No one can deliver a line like Bob. Well, except maybe Larry… “Hi, I’m Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl.”

2. The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

Disney delivered once again with this quirky, fun show for kids.

3. Edge of Heaven

Edge of Heaven didn’t last long because of tough competition causing low ratings but if you love shows about B&Bs, you can find the six episodes online which aired before their doors quickly closed.

4. Fawlty Towers

And in Great Britain, Fawlty Towers had audiences cackling so hard that America had to get in on the fun.  I still have to pause and watch if I happen to land on the reruns.

5. Whoopi

You may not know Whoopi ran a B&B during primetime. Yep, she did but this show about a one-hit wonder gone B&B owner in New York was cancelled, ironically, after one year.

6. All At Sea

All at Sea is the British alternative to The Suite Life of Zack and Cody – colorful and quirky.

7. Benidorm

This series started in 2007 and is still in production. The British really know how to take advantage of the natural comedy innkeepers experience while being on the front lines of the travel industry.

8. Portlandia

I know. I know. Portlandia isn’t based in a B&B but how could I ignore this perfect skit about one? Portlandia is all the best of hipster life in one hilarious show.

9. Three in a Bed

What list of TV shows these days would be complete without a reality show? Or two? Or three… in a bed?

Four in a Bed

Well, heck, why not four?

10. Gilmore Girls

And, I have saved the very best for last. I discovered Gilmore Girls right after their sixth season had come to an end. My kids and I did nothing for one entire week except the basics and we watched every episode from season one to season five. I later found seasons six and seven on sale and we finished them all. In this show Melissa McCarthy plays my kitchen equivalent, Sookie. We’re super excited to hear the news that there will soon be four more episodes on Netflix and will include our beloved Sookie.

If a show you know of comes to mind, please list them in the comments so everyone can enjoy them too.

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A Baker’s Dozen Plus One: A Foodie Movie List

If you love cooking and eating and watching movies about people cooking and eating, here is a carefully chosen list of 14 calorie-free goodies just for you.

Julie & Julia

Big Night

The Trip

It’s Complicated

Kitchen Stories

I Am Love

Tortilla Soup

No Reservations

Babette’s Feast

Mostly Martha

Eat Pray Love


Because I said So

And, finally, dessert.


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10 Movies Featuring Bed & Breakfasts

ground hog day

Bed & breakfast from the movie Groundhog Day

Nights at Rodanthe

Leap Year

Holiday Inn

Marley and Me

On Golden Pond

Bed & Breakfast

The Bounty Hunter

Just Married

Bed & Breakfast

Ground Hog Day

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7 Best Feel Good Snow Day Movies


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© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017